Joey Barton: BOARD to blame if Man City fail to win silverware this season

first_imgFormer Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton has told talkSPORT the club’s board, not the players or manager, will be to blame if the team fail to bring home any silverware this season.Outgoing boss Manuel Pellegrini will be desperate to end his tenure on a high before he is replaced at the Etihad Stadium hotseat by Pep Guardiola in the summer.Until last weekend the Blues were fighting on four fronts, with their FA Cup fifth round exit at the hands of Chelsea leaving their hopes on the Premier League, Champions League and the final of the League Cup – where they face Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday.City boosted their chances of European progression with a 3-1 victory at Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of their last-16 tie, but Barton believes Champions League glory will be a dream until two-time winning coach Guardiola takes charge.And with the side also a way behind in the Premier League title race, the opinion-splitting ex-City man believes the team have definitely been distracted by the club’s decision to announce Guardiola’s appointment midway through a campaign.Speaking on Drivetime, Barton said: “No, I don’t think City will win the Champions League this season. But I think in the near future, with the appointment of Guardiola and the team he is capable of building, winning the Champions League would be a definite possibility.“I do expect them to progress [into the quarter-finals this season]. They’ve got a very nice draw, as favourable as a draw you can get at this stage of the competition, but you’d expect that if they run into an elite level team like Bayern Munich or Barcelona that they’ll probably just come up short.“It’s a tough season for Manchester City, they’ve got a scrap on to get back in the title race and it’s a strange period for them. I don’t know what it would be like to be in the dressing room knowing that the manager’s about to leave. “It certainly can’t be the optimum of circumstances for you to get everything you need to get out of the players to challenge on four, now three, fronts. You do worry for them.“I’m a huge fan of Manuel Pellegrini, I think he handles himself in times of adversity with real dignity and class, and this will be difficult for him and it MUST affect morale in the dressing room.“Guardiola is going to come and you’re going to have players in the team who aren’t going to be in his plans just because they don’t seem to fit the way he wants the game played.“So those players will have the fear and survival mode on full alert and won’t be 100 per cent focussed on the football.“That’s not a situation created by the manager or the players, it’s a situation created by people in the board room, the people who make the decisions at the club.“If they do suffer…they were challenging for four trophies at one stage and if they do not manage to convert any of those opportunities it will be very easy to point fingers and lay the blame all over the place.“It’s just a bit of a mess for what is now one of Britain’s so-called bigger clubs.”last_img read more